Learn more about Madi
The Madi are an ethnic group living mainly in the southwestern part of Torit district in Sudan, and the districts of Adjumani and Moyo in Uganda. They speak a Central Sudanic language, closely related to the language spoken by the Moru, Lugbara, Keliku and Avukaya, with whom they also share many cultural similarities – which might point to their common origin.
The Second Sudanese Civil War (1983–2005) sufficiently diminished the number of Madi in the Sudan and most of their villages are now occupied by internally displaced people from other parts of Southern Sudan. In Uganda, the Sudanese civil-war and the havoc caused by the Lord's Resistance Army, has led the Madi to bear with the influx of refugees from Sudan and from other parts of Uganda.
Over the years, as the Arab slave trade of the 19th century took its toll, the wars in southern Sudan and in Uganda further uprooted the Madi, and as the elders knowledgeable about Madi culture die off – few Madi now practise their traditional religion and cultural activities. The majority of the Madi are now Christians and a few are Muslims.
In traditional Madi religion, God was referred to as Rubanga, and it was believed that the best way of praying to God was through spirits of dead relatives. At harvest time, the first harvest must be offered to the spirits to thank them for successfully interceding to God on behalf of the living. On miniature alters called Kidori, sacrifices were offered to ancestral spirits in good times and bad times.